Experimental Ethnography at the Interfaces of the Arts & Sciences
Tuesday 1:30-4:30 PM
This course takes inspiration from conversations and practices occurring at the interfaces of cultural anthropology, the environmental humanities, and feminist science studies. Anthropologist Stuart McLean (2017) has asked: “What might become of anthropology if it were to suspend its sometime claims to be a social science? What if it were to turn instead to exploring its affinities with art and literature as a mode of engaged creative practice carried forward in a world heterogeneously composed of humans and other than humans?” At the same time, the emergence of the environmental humanities as an academic discipline in the twenty-first century reflects the growing conviction on the part of diverse sectors that “environmental” problems cannot be solved by science and technology alone. Instead, cultivation of experimental methods and alliance building between the arts and social and natural sciences has become ever more important strategy in terms of fomenting public engaged scholarship. In this course, we will not necessarily suspend the social scientific claims of anthropology, and ethnography more specifically, but we will push our methodological premises and conceptual work to experiment with our objects of study, matters of concern, and the diverse materialities that emerge from and participate in our ethnographic work.